Course Descriptions

The Master of Arts in Education with emphasis in reading program is designed to prepare teachers for K-8 reading instruction. Students may take this emphasis with or without the endorsement option.

Required Core Courses: Program Core Requirements plus, ED 510, ED 515, ED 520, ED 525, ED 530, ED 535 and ED 540

Electives*: ED 545, ED 599, or graduate courses from the emphasis in special education. Electives may be used to fulfill the semester hours required for the emphasis in reading when students have already taken a required course for endorsement work at the graduate level.

Course Descriptions

ED 500 Educational Policy: 3 semester hours
This course will examine the different governing bodies that influence policy and how it is created, the ethic of critique, the ethic of care, the ethic of justice, and professional ethics; educational law; the theory of change and the processes for implementing change; and review educational standards. Candidates will be provided with examples of the types of research possible for each area examined in the course as they prepare to undertake their own action research.

ED 505 Educational Leadership: 3 semester hours
This course will examine the various types of leadership. Students will spend some time in the schools observing and examining the school culture and the primary leadership style. Students will use leadership inventories to help them determine their main leadership style.

ED 510 Foundations of Reading: 3 semester hours
Practitioners will read, analyze, and evaluate current and historical research in reading and writing processes. Research on instructional strategies, motivation, and the major reading and writing components will be examined.

ED 515 Children’s Literature: Enhancing Instruction: 3 semester hours
This course provides a broad up-dated survey of children’s and adolescent literature with a focus on locating and using literature in the classroom to support reading, writing, and cross-curricular instruction.

ED 520 Language, Literacy and Culture: 3 semester hours
This course will examine some ways in which growth in language reflects and enables cognitive development and how language empowers and constrains children as they attempt to make sense of their world. First and second language reading and writing processes and the role socioeconomic status and cultural diversity have on children's literacy learning within various ethnic communities and school environments will be studied. Drawing on readings in psychology, anthropology, linguistics, and education, students will formulate ideas on the role language plays before children enter school and the role it plays once they begin their formal education.

ED 525 Content Area Reading and Writing: 3 semester hours
This course examines best practices for the integration of reading and writing across the language arts and content area subjects. Specific attention will be given to embedding the teaching of reading and writing skills into content area instruction. Practitioners will investigate how reading, writing, listening and speaking supports the acquisition of new knowledge across all subject areas.

ED 530 Diagnostic Assessment of Reading and Writing: 3 semester hours
This course focuses on the diagnosis of reading and writing proficiencies and needs. Tests, testing procedures, and formal and informal diagnostic techniques will be examined, discussed, and evaluated. The practitioner will reflect on assessment results to inform instructional decisions in light of the nature and causes of reading/writing disabilities.

ED 535 Prescriptive Reading Instruction (with Reading Clinic): 4 semester hours
Current research-based methods and strategies for instructing less proficient readers will be studied and implemented. Practitioners will complete a clinical field-based experience in a specialized reading setting where they will select appropriate materials and strategies for individualized and/or small group instruction. Reflective analysis of anecdotal and assessment data will be used by practitioners to evaluate the effectiveness of their instruction. This course may be taken in conjunction with ED 530 (Diagnostic Assessment of Reading and Writing).

ED 540 Reading Research Seminar: 3 semester hours
Practitioners select and explore a topic of professional interest through a review of the research and professional publications. Practitioners will prepare a literature review of the selected topic and share their findings with peers. Discussion, questioning and collegial feedback will frame the professional development paradigm for this course.

ED 545 Topics in Literacy Instruction: 3 semester hours
This course offers a specialized study of current topics, issues, and trends in the field of literacy. Topics may include: Literacy Coaching, Word-study, Writing Process, English Language Learners, Gender Issues, Interest and Motivation, Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Word Identification, Fluency, Vocabulary, Comprehension, or Reading Research. Practitioners may complete more than one topics course in consultation with an academic advisor.

ED 550 Special Education: Law, Collaboration, & Consultation: 3 semester hours
This course provides the most current legal information regarding students/schools in regard to special education. Additionally, collaboration with professionals and parents, as well as the consultant role, will be explored.

ED 555 Assessment in Special Education: 3 semester hours
This course provides knowledge and application of the collection and use of assessment data (academic and behavioral) for educational diagnosis, assessment, and evaluation of individual with disabilities, including norm-referenced materials.

ED 560 Behavior Interventions: 3 semester hours
This course is designed to provide strategies for identifying, anticipating, and managing individual and group behavior issues in regular and special education classes. Covers mild to severe behaviors.

ED 565 Teaching Social Competency: 3 semester hours
This course will provide exploration into the social skills areas necessary for success both in school and in society in general. Included will be exposure to curricula in social skills.

ED 566 Individual Planning in Education (Case Study Approach): 3 semester hours
This course will provide opportunities for planning educational programming for individual student needs for those identified with a disability.

ED 570 Methods & Strategies for the Mild/Moderate Learner (K-8): 3 semester hours
This course addresses the characteristics and trends in serving students with mild/moderate disabilities. It offers theoretical and practical approaches which are research-based interventions.

ED 571 Universal Design: 3 semester hours
This course will provide exploration and practice in multiple means of representation to give learners various ways of acquiring information and knowledge, multiple means of expression to provide learners alternatives for demonstrating what they know, and multiple means of engagement to tap into learners' interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation.

ED 575 Methods & Strategies for the Mild/Moderate Learner (5-12): 3 semester hours
This course addresses the characteristics and trends in serving students with mild/moderate disabilities. It offers theoretical and practical approaches which are research-based interventions. Additionally, an emphasis on co-teaching is offered to meet the IDEA 2004.

ED 576 Trends and Strategies in Teaching Children with Autism: 3 semester hours
This course will provide information on autism as it relates to methods and materials to use in the special education setting.

ED 580 Transitions & Career Planning: 3 semester hours
This course provides an understanding of the process for transition from high school to post-secondary options for students with disabilities. It includes creating a transition plan and completing a Self-Advocacy unit.

ED 585 Curriculum & Methods for Strategist II: 3 semester hours
This course provides an in-depth look at the strategies and approaches used with students diagnosed with moderate to severe learning disabilities, behavior disorders, autism, and Asperger’s, as well as other disabilities

ED 590 Curriculum Design & Adaptation in Content Areas for Children with Special Needs: 3 semester hours
This course will provide an opportunity to explore curricula designed to reach students with disabilities in the moderate to severe range.

ED 600 Educational Research: 3 semester hours
This course is an introduction to educational research, designed to help students become critical evaluators and consumers of research. Students will evaluate research findings and analyze its application to classroom practice. This course provides a foundation for students to be able to conduct original action research.

ED 601 Action Research Project: 2 semester hours
Students will design an action research project that will be implemented in a K-12 classroom.

ED 602 Action Research Thesis: 1 semester hour
Students will meet with the project advisor weekly until they complete their Action Research Project. Students will report on the data gathered in a presentation to a faculty committee and to the greater Mount Mercy community. Students will continuously enroll in this course until the project is complete.

ED 650 Student Teaching Instructional Strategist I K-8: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised teaching assignment in a Level I or co-teaching setting. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to elementary students with mild to moderate disabilities. During this 8-week placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 651 Student Teaching Instructional Strategist I 5-12: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised teaching assignment in a Level I or co-teaching setting. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to secondary students with mild to moderate disabilities. During this 8-week placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 652 Student Teaching Instructional Strategist II K-8: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised teaching assignment in a Level II classroom. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to elementary students with mild to moderate disabilities. During this 8-week placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 653 Student Teaching Instructional Strategist II 5-12: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised teaching assignment in a Level II classroom. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to elementary students with mild to moderate disabilities. During this 8-week placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 654 Student Teaching Alternate Level Instructional Strategist II K-8: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised student teaching assignment in a Level II or Level III classroom. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to students with moderate to severe disabilities. During this 20-day placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 655 Student Teaching Alternate Level Instructional Strategist II 5-12: 3 semester hours
A student will complete a supervised student teaching assignment in a Level II or Level III classroom. Here he/she will apply knowledge, skills, and dispositions of relevant educational theory to actual classroom situations while teaching special education strategies to students with moderate to severe disabilities. During this 20-day placement, the student will be asked to lead teach for the majority of the time.

ED 599 Special Topics in Education: 3 semester hours
This course will be offered as an elective to address special topics in education that Mount Mercy does not currently offer in its Master of Arts in Education program (e.g., seminars related to special education and/or literacy; conference credits given by Mount Mercy as a result of attendance, participation, and work completed in accordance with conference guidelines).

Contact Us

For more information on the Master's Program in Education, please contact Dr. Dawn Behan, Director, Graduate Program in Education at dbehan@mtmercy.edu or 319-363-8213 x1217.